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Juncker seen stumbling before NATO gala dinner, leaders step in to help

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Juncker seen stumbling before NATO gala dinner, leaders step in to help

Juncker seen stumbling before NATO gala dinner, leaders step in to help
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European leaders stepped in to help European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday evening, as he was seen stumbling ahead of a gala dinner at the NATO summit.

Juncker was walking awkwardly and losing his balance ahead of the event, leading politicians, including the presidents of Finland and Ukraine and prime minister of the Netherlands, to offer their support to keep the 63-year-old upright.

Juncker has previously revealed that he suffers from sciatica — a leg pain originating in the lower back — that can sometimes affect his movements.

“I have some difficulties to walk. I am not drunk. I have sciatica. I would prefer to be drunk," he said of the condition in an address at the Irish parliament last month.

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Thursday that Juncker had complained of back pain.

A European Commission spokesperson told Euronews it was "not appropriate to discuss health issues publicly".

Heads of European institutions were joining NATO leaders for the meeting and dinner on Wednesday night amid a two-day summit of the military alliance.